High Court slams Haryana over land transfer

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has slammed the Haryana government over the transfer of prime chunk of land in Faridabad to a man in his early forties, who had claimed to be in possession of the property for the last 50-55 years. The Court also queried Haryana on whether a CBI inquiry should be ordered in the matter and directed the state government to file a detailed affidavit on the next date of hearing.

The contentious land, measuring 51 kanals and 5 marlas, is located at Chirsi village in Faridabad. In February 17, 2011, the then Gurgaon assistant consolidation officer, Dalbir Singh, corrected an entry in the "khasra girdawari" (record of possession) on the basis of an application filed by Faridabad resident Bhupendra Singh, who had claimed to be in possession of the land for the last 50-55 years. Bhupinder was in his early forties.

The consolidation department had transferred the possessory rights of the land in favour of Singh, which was cancelled by former director general (consolidations) Dr Ashok Khemka.

Bhupendra Singh had approached the High Court challenging Khemka's orders. In its order dated, October 19, 2012, the Court had asked the Haryana government to apprise it of the powers conferred on the director general (consolidation of holdings), Haryana.

While taking up the ambiguity on powers delegated to officers of the consolidation department, the High Court on Wednesday ordered: "The affidavit contains a surprising admission on the part of Haryana, that though powers, under Section 42 of the East Punjab Holdings Act, 1948, have been delegated to the commissioner of a division, the original notification, dated 22.4.1983, delegating powers under Section 42 of the 1948 Act, to the director (consolidation ), Haryana, has neither been rescinded nor modified. It is, therefore, abundantly clear that the director (consolidation) has jurisdiction to exercise power to examine the legality or any scheme prepared during consolidation or orders passed, thereafter."

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